Tuesday, May 29, 2012

KaSonndra Leigh - When Copper Suns Fall

When Copper Suns Fall
The Lost Immortals Saga #1

By KaSonndra Leigh

Kindle Edition Available

Product Description (from Amazon)
In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected. 

"Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories? 

With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, and to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease. 

In this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into a world filled with celestial creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.

About the Author (from Amazon)

KaSonndra Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to write about teens doing fantastical things in magical worlds. Her two sons have made her promise to write a boy book next.

She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora's Box (good writer's block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Rachel

This book is set in a near future – about 55 years is all.  Although Fantasy/ Post Apocalyptical is usually among my more favorite genre’s, “When Copper Suns Fall” just kind of missed the mark for me.  Not that it wasn’t a good story, because there was a lot of imagination and action, not too much romance, but it just fell short of a great novel.

First, the vocabulary kept you either guessing at words or trying to muddle over them or reaching for a dictionary.  Now I really don’t mind new words in a story, but considering that this is, I think, a book aimed at teens, the language and new words made it boggy, even for an adult looking for a story you can just sit back and enjoy.

Second, the action jumps around and is often rushed.  You lose the sense of where you are and when you are quite often.  I think having a paperback version would have helped a lot, but with a Kindle, you can’t just flip back and see if you missed something a few chapters back.  More than once, I wondered if I should go get a pen and notebook and try to take notes so I could keep when and where and who straight.

Third, there are many characters that pop in and out of the story in unexpected places, and become a huge part of the story line, but they are totally flat characters.  I couldn’t remember where they came from, let alone who they were.  It was very confusing for a minor character to suddenly become so important to the story line.  Most of the characters were left as paperboard thin personalities, and what little you did know, didn’t define their character much, and often contradicted what you thought you knew about the character.

Fourth, the climax ties itself up very poorly.  I was very confused at the end, other than the one point of she lied about what happened to the Beast.  I felt as if most of the questions raised in the earlier parts of the book were still hanging, not really sure if they had been answered for much of it.  Unfortunately, I don’t really feel compelled to try to read it a second time to try to straighten out everything that I didn’t get or understand the first time through.  Mostly because  I’m not much of one for rereading books, even the ones I dearly love.

On the positive side, it was a fairly clean read, not too much on the sex or profanity front, I think there were some rough words from some of the “mean” characters, but mostly it steered clear of the really bad language, and the same with the sexual situations.  I really appreciated that in a book with such a young heroine.

Also, the action moved along at a good clip, keeping you involved in the story in spite of not being overly sure when, or where, or who you were with at the time.  The action was very easy to get into and follow along with as you read the book.  Somewhere about halfway through the nearly 400 pages of book, it began to develop a rhythm and most of the characters were becoming familiar enough to keep the story interesting.

Chela is a great lead character.  She’s got her quirks, but you find yourself routing for her as the underdog that bad things just keep mysteriously happening to her and her beloved twin brother.  As the story moves along, you learn that most of these unusual things are purposely perpetrated against her to provoke a reaction, and she usually reacts.   And she’s got some great friends, although we only really get to know Jalen.  And the two boys who seem to suddenly be vying for her attention.  She’s kind of trapped in a 3 way tug between the 3 boys.

There are basically 4 types of people alive after the Tidal Wars.  The Tidal Wars were caused by the two ruling groups of angels – the Caduceans and the Tainted.  There are two types of humans, gifted and normal.  The gifted get to live in protected special cities.  The normals have to live in the ruined parts of the world.  There is also a strange army – Sons of Created Shade – that appeared to be either zombies or robots transformed from actual people.

The story takes place in just one of the eight protected cities of the new world, it appears to be in a South Eastern area of what use to be America.  I was not sure if the rest of the world was in similar state or only America, although it appeared to be a worldwide problem.

Basic Plot

The book opens with Chela visiting her comatose brother Micah.  There is a mystery surrounding his accident that she feels compelled to solve, and must prevent his becoming a vessel.  Once she has been thrown out of the hospital, she spends some time wandering around and thinking and looking at things ... and you begin to piece together the picture of her life and Micah’s accident as she begins to tell her story – first person narrative.  We learn a few interesting things right away, first, her father is a Historian, she and her brother were Homeschooled, and her real mother was an angel ... Seraphim.

The reminiscing soon gets her into trouble at work, and later at the park, and gets carded.  The whole event is rather strange.  Chela has one hot temper and a quick tongue, it gets her into a lot of trouble.  Usually her Dad can get her out of trouble, because of his position, but not this time.  Meanwhile, she meets up with her friends, go to a big party hang out, and she sees something she shouldn’t see ... only for some reason, she can’t really remember much of it.  But she met a guy ...

The Borough is having costing week – something I never quite figured out.  Maybe I’ve not read enough of this genre?  But she has to fight the champion, and if she wins, her sentence at the Barrows will be reduced.  While waiting for her match, she meets another new guy, and again meets the guy from the party place.

Now she gets told that she’s got to watch the Thoughtmasters while she’s at the Barrows, and be a spy.  She really isn’t sure what she is looking for, unusual behavior.  But now the two boys keep popping up in the strangest places.

She meets the dreaded Beast, and discovers she has wings.  There is so much going on that the plot is difficult to capsulate into a short form.  You find that the two boys are angels – each on opposite sides of the war – and each want HER for who she is and what she can do.  Both sides are giving her tiny bites of information and misinformation.  She doesn’t really know who to trust, nor does she understand her powers or how to trigger them when she needs them.

But she has to decide soon, because everyone she holds near and dear to her heart is being threatened in the great struggle for possession of her gift.  She has to decide before it is too late.

Readers who like Angels and lots of adventure will likely enjoy this book.  It has a definite genius under the surface, and if you can handle the difficult parts of the book, it is a very enjoyable read.  There are many great scenes that will compel many readers to keep reading, and most serious readers should be able to get to the end of the book.  A talented editor may be able to help her work out the rough spots and help turn this into a best seller.  Often, an author gets to know their world so well, that they don’t realize that others can’t see the same picture as they do, and what is plain to the author is choppy and confusing to the rest of us.

There are many unanswered questions as the book ends.  It is a world that is slightly familiar, but had enough strange things that I never quite grasped the nuisances of social or political structure.  More than once, I wondered if the world was loosely based on some TV or movie or other books that I have not watched or read, as it seemed as if the author assumed that we were familiar with some things ... such as costing day.

My daughter and I both fell in love with the authors name, KaSonndra, and Kendra has written it down to use as a character name someday in her own writings.  She is a gorgeous lady, from looking at her picture, and I wish her all the best as a writer.  She has definite talent and an amazing imagination.  I enjoyed the book and felt it was pretty original with a lot of interesting ideas.  It is an interesting world, and could definitely host quite a few more books in the setting provided.

Note:   While this book is tame enough for readers as young as 12 or so, many that young will find the reading/ vocabulary to be difficult.  It is not an easy read, but it is intriguing and action filled.  It is fast paced and challenging.   It is a story about destiny and loyalty, and discovering that everything you thought you knew and understood about your world – is pretty much wrong.

Genre/Theme:  Fantasy, Angels, Post Apocalyptical, Teen, Mystery/Adventure
Reading Level:  Mature TEEN - high school to college 
Profanity:  MODERATE - mild words & a few stronger expletives 
Sexuality:  MILD - descriptions of affection/desire 
OBVIOUS - blatant sexuality in text, but not explicit 
Other: Betrayal is a strong theme  in this book, angels  appear to be the creators of earth and are at war for power over the humans.

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